Anniversaries are typically fun and joyous occasions. As we mark the one-year anniversary of going to remote learning (March 13, 2020, marked our last day with students, and March 17, 2020, marked our first day of remote learning), joy may not be the exact emotion you use to describe the last year. Challenging, maybe.
However, in talking to many families in our school community, some positives actually arose from the pandemic. Some students enjoyed learning from home or in a hybrid environment where they could have more one-on-one instruction from the teacher due to smaller class sizes. Some families have expressed an appreciation for having a better line of sight into their child’s education, and for the additional time they got to spend with their kids.
We also learned how innovative we could be; that we can do things we never thought possible. Like be a parent, teacher and employee all rolled into one. Or convert to teaching completely online in a matter of days. Thank goodness, for the technologies that we have available to us today that made these things possible.
On one hand, this new model of teaching and the technologies we implemented will advance student learning well into the future. Additionally, we all learned important life skills and had experiences we hope no one else in our lifetime will get to say he or she had.
On the other hand, we know that some students and families have suffered greatly over the course of the last year. The impact on the social and emotional well-being of our students is not something that can be measured but will affect our school community for a long time. In addition, we will continue to assess the needs of students and the impacts of the pandemic on learning. We will be using district and state testing data to map out a to address the achievement gap.
I am happy to report that with each passing day, we are getting closer and closer to what we call “normal.” Part of this return to normalcy is thanks to the vaccine. Staff received their second dose March 20.
No matter the emotions, you feel when you reflect on the last year, I hope one of them is pride. I am continuously amazed at how resilient our students, staff and the community have been over the last year. I think we can all agree that we are stronger for the experiences we have had. Thank you for your continued flexibility and support.